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Report: 49ers have had preliminary communication with Dede Westbrook

Westbrook is expected to be fully cleared for football activities right around when the 49ers begin training camp.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent wide receiver Dede Westbrook is a name that has been tied to the 49ers for a few weeks now. On May 8, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that several teams were interested in Westbrook’s services.

On Monday afternoon, Josina Anderson reported that Westbrook is expected to be fully cleared to participate in football activities by the eight-month mark after Westbrook tore his ACL, which occurred on October 25. Westbrook had surgery in November, so he should be cleared before San Francisco begins training camp at the end of July.

Anderson mentioned that the 49ers and Westbrook had preliminary communication not too long ago. Westbrook missed one game in two years before the 2020 season when he tore his ACL. Known as a big-play threat who can run the ball, he’d be an intriguing option in San Francisco’s offense. Westbrook is a dynamic return man, too.

His best season game in 2018, where Westbrook had season highs in rushing, receiving, and punt return yardage. He had 66 receptions for 717 yards, including five touchdowns. Westbrook also averaged 14 yards per punt return and took one to the house.

Sports Info Solutions credited Westbrook with 25 points earned that season. For reference, Kendrick Bourne has never earned more than 23 points in a season.

There’s plenty of projection here, as you never want to be too high or rely too much on a player fresh off an ACL injury. There are many unknowns, so let’s see if the 49ers end up working out Westbrook and he passes a physical.

It wouldn’t surprise if Westbrook were asked to sign an injury waiver, which Marqise Lee had to do.

Westbrook is a speedy wideout who is only 27. He had to play with Blake Bortles and managed to put up competent numbers. With weapons around him in a Kyle Shanahan offense, Westbrook could end up being a great value signing if all goes well.